What if the US had “gone Sweden” on COVID?

Let’s look at some numbers..
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The Barrington Declaration — signed by thousands of scientists and medical practitioners (and, of course, censored by Google, et. al.) — has really stimulated my thinking about the past & Biden-prospective COVID lockdowns.

For a summary of the Barrington Declaration, see: Which scientists to believe & to follow?

The current COVID death counts are eye-opening:

The U.S. has accumulated about 665 deaths per million … Sweden has accumulated 585 deaths per million — a rate that is about 12% lower than the U.S. .. and whopping 66% lower than the heavily locked down state of New York.

I’d call those numbers statistically significant.

Now, let’s look at the numbers from a different angle…

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Last weekend, the WSJ ran an article titled What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Science.

The entire article was interesting, and one paragraph really caught my eye:

An epidemiological model developed last March at Imperial College London was treated by politicians as hard evidence that without lockdowns, the pandemic could kill 2.2 million Americans, 510,000 Britons and 96,000 Swedes.

Keep in mind that the Imperial College model was Fauci’s hard proof to Trump that a lockdown was required.

Otherwise the U.S. would suffer over 2.2 million deaths.

So far, the U.S. has accumulated 220,000 COVID-related deaths … about 10% of the IC “no mitigation” projection.

Sweden urged citizens to adopt social distancing rules and to stop gatherings of more than 50 people.  But, relied on voluntary compliance, not mandates … and didn’t lockdown their economy.

OK, so let’s assume that the IC Model was equally valid when applied to all other countries, including Sweden.

The model forecast that 96,000 Swedes would die under their “no mitigation” scenario.

To date, fewer than 6,000 Swedes have succumbed to the coronavirus … that’s only 6.25% of the IC model’s projection … which is 3.75pp lower than the U.S.

If the U.S. were running at Sweden’s rate —  6.25% of forecast — instead of 10% … we’d be at 137,500 deaths … 37.5% fewer than the actual 220,000.

Advantage to Sweden’s no lockdown approach … even before considering the collateral damage to the economy and other public health impacts.

My take: The Barrington scientists and medical practitioners are on the right track… too bad they’re being censored by Google, et. al.  Let’s debate the issue !

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P.S. Science does still another u-turn:

The WHO has changed its stance on lockdowns.

On Oct. 8, David Nabarro — the WHO’s special envoy on COVID-19 —  told The Spectator

We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.”

The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.

I’m getting whiplash from these guys…

2 Responses to “What if the US had “gone Sweden” on COVID?”

  1. Alex Says:

    Prof. Homa,

    Is it possible that lockdowns are a necessary measure when a significant % of the population refuses to follow social distancing, occupancy, and masking guidelines?

    Further:
    https://www.france24.com/en/20200916-they-sacrificed-the-elderly-how-covid-19-spread-in-sweden-s-care-homes
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-is-taking-a-high-toll-on-swedens-elderly-families-blame-the-government-11592479430
    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/17/how-sweden-fought-coronavirus-and-what-went-wrong.html

    What measures would you advocate to keep the inhabitants of senior communities safe, (since, inevitably, infections enter from outside, principally via staff)?

  2. Alex Says:

    You’re going to love this: “Sweden is moving away from its no-lockdown strategy and preparing strict new rules amid rising coronavirus cases”

    https://www.businessinsider.com/sweden-shifts-away-no-lockdown-strategy-amid-growing-case-numbers-2020-10

    QUOTE
    After opting against lockdown measures throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Sweden is said to be shifting strategies toward the kinds of restrictive measures adopted by most of its neighbors.

    Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist, is set to meet with local health officials over the next week to discuss new measures to introduce in response to outbreaks in Stockholm and the nearby city of Uppsala, The Telegraph reported.

    Unlike its Nordic neighbors and most other countries, Sweden did not deploy wholesale lockdown measures in response to the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.

    Instead, the government led by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven allowed shops, bars, and restaurants to remain mostly open and students to attend school.

    Sweden has recorded a much higher per capita death rate than its neighbors since adopting this strategy. It had recorded 5,918 deaths as of Sunday, compared with 278 in Norway and 346 in Finland.

    Dr. Joacim Rocklov of Umea University told The Telegraph that after being an outlier earlier in the year, Sweden was shifting to a strategy closer to those adopted by most other governments.

    It will give local authorities the power to strongly recommend people to avoid busy public places like shopping centers, museums, gyms, concerts, and sports matches. Swedes may also be asked to avoid public transport and contact with those considered most vulnerable to severe infection.

    “What’s happened in the last couple of weeks is a movement towards a similar model to what has been used in Norway and many other countries,” he said. “It’s very obvious that it’s a new strategy, but still, the newspapers report on ‘the Swedish strategy’ as if it were fixed in March.”

    Johan Nojd, who heads Uppsala’s infectious-diseases department, suggested that he would be prepared to introduce harsher restrictions for the city like new rules for hospitality if the number of cases in the city continued to grow.

    “Perhaps tomorrow we will have several talking about concerts or restaurants and then perhaps one could say, ‘In Uppsala now for two or three weeks it is the Public Health Agency’s advice not to sit in restaurants late at night,'” he told The Telegraph.

    Unlike in other countries, however, there are not expected to be fines or legal consequences for people who decide not to follow any new advice. Bitte Brastad, the chief legal officer at Sweden’s public-health agency, said the rules were “something in between regulations and recommendations.”

    Tegnell this week said the level of immunity in Sweden’s cities was not as high as the health officials had recently believed.

    “I think the obvious conclusion is that the level of immunity in those cities is not at all as high as we have, as maybe some people have believed,” he said.

    “I think what we are seeing is very much a consequence of the very heterogeneous spread that this disease has, which means that even if you feel like there have been a lot of cases in some big cities, there are still huge pockets of people who have not been affected yet.”

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